Technology can be great.
When it works.
Which I have found is not often.
Usually, the more we need something to work, the more likely it is to mess up.
Especially when it comes to Wi-Fi in these parts.
It’s ironic how something that is supposed to give us so much convenience often ends up being the biggest time sucker there is.
I spend a huge portion of my time, trying to fix something related to the internet connection, to the point I should probably be getting some kind of technician pay.
It’s practically a daily thing, too.
I have to unplug the router, wait 2 minutes and then plug it back in. Sometimes, I have to push in the little reset button on the router.
All the little tricks they walk you through when you call, I have already done several times before I finally call in to see if they can maybe, somehow, hopefully rebuild the connection.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
A technician may have to come out, usually to tell me that everything looks fine.
So for the few hours I spend working from home each day, I spend more time fighting with technology to make it work.
Same goes for Netflix. The pitiful internet service is the best guarantee that we can never go solely to Netflix or Hulu.
It buffers and takes forever to load. Or sometimes won’t even work.
“Well, you’ve only got 3 g’s….” I am told.
Personally, I don’t care how many g’s I have; I am paying for service and convenience. Not for anger and frustration. I am pretty sure I have created some new swear words when dealing with this.
And again – I seriously spend just as much if not more time fooling with trying to fix the issues than I do actually being productive. It hinders my work and is the source of about 80 percent of my anger and frustration.
“Mama, did you have to deal with these kinds of problems when you were a kid?” Cole asked.
My answer was no. “We didn’t have the internet when I was kid,” I replied.
Here’s where I get to share my “walking 3 miles one way in the snow” version of technology with my child.
“Cole, when I was growing up, we only had like 4 channels — 2, 5, 11, and 17 — and we had an antenna. When the screen got fuzzy and snowy, we had to go out and turn the antenna.”
“Did that work?” he asked.
“Sometimes. We also had to put tin foil on the rabbit ears to help the reception.”
Why that worked, I don’t know; I have been told aluminum is a very poor conductor but we put it on the bunny ears and moved them all over, bending them to where we surely communicating with alien life.
Not only did we have tin foil as antenna extenders, we had to actually get up and physically change the channel. There was no surfing through the channels or scrolling through the channel guide looking for something better while watching something else. You had to be premediated in what you watched.
And the phones. The phones had long curly cords and were plugged in the wall. No smart phones that supposedly pulled the data and interfered with the convenience of our wi-fi connection.
When the power went out, we couldn’t switch to cellular and still connect online with our phones. We had to do the unthinkable — read an actual book.
It was a hard-wired life and it was awesome. We didn’t know what we were missing because we didn’t have these cumbersome conveniences we can’t live without now.
Free from technology, I don’t remember Mama or Granny getting frustrated with the phone; it was just something they had to use if needed.
But now we have internet that seldom works complete with a gazillion reasons why it doesn’t — and usually the company wants to blame the customer — and we have countless headaches and frustrations, all from the conveniences of modern technology.
Maybe E.E. Cummings was right. Maybe technology is the comfortable disease which separates us from actual living and enjoying life.
The internet still was not working.
Maybe it was time for technology to catch up, or for me to unplug.
Or, maybe a little bit of both.
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the novel, “The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery.”